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Why You Should See A Dermatologist About Nail Issues

Mar 28, 2021

If you’ve noticed changes to your nails, it might not be wise to ignore them. While some changes in color, texture, or shape can be benign, others can be a sign of an underlying illness. Some nail issues require the immediate attention of a dermatologist. If you’ve noticed any of the following problems, make a dermatology appointment as soon as possible.

  • A dark streak could indicate melanoma. If you notice a new or changing dark streak under your fingernail or toenail, make an appointment with your dermatologist for a skin cancer check. If that dark streak is melanoma under your nail, it’s important to catch it early for successful treatment.
  • When a nail lifts up, it could be for any one of several reasons. It could be an injury from an aggressive manicure or cleaning under your nails with something sharp. On the other hand, it might be a fungal infection or psoriasis. Your dermatologist can identify the cause, provide treatment if necessary, and give you tips to help your nail grow out the way it naturally should.
  • Redness or swelling around a nail could mean an infection. If this is the case, you’ll want to have it diagnosed early so that it can be treated easily. If it becomes an open sore, it may require more significant treatment.
  • Nails that change color could be a bad sign. Blue nails could be a sign of a lack of oxygen, white nails could mean liver disease or diabetes, and pale nails could indicate anemia. If your nails are half-pink and half-white, it could be kidney disease, and red half-moons could be a sign of lupus, heart disease, arthritis, or dermatomyositis, while blue half-moons could signal poison. Greenish-black nails indicate infection, and sometimes yellow nails do too, but yellow nails can also point to lung disease. However, yellow nails can also come from wearing red nail polish or smoking. That’s why it’s important to have your doctor check them.
  • Nails that are too thick or too thin can mean trouble. Thick, overgrown nails can be a sign of psoriasis, ichthyosis, or circulation problems, and thin nails that dip in the middle like spoons can indicate poor nutrition.
  • Grooves and pits warrant attention. Deep grooves across your nail mean that your nail growth slowed or stopped for a while. This can happen because of chemotherapy, a fever, or stress, but if you can’t identify the cause, talk to your doctor. Pitted nails can indicate psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, or alopecia areata.

Whenever you need the services of a board-certified dermatologist, you can trust Arlington Dermatology to take care of you. For over 40 years, our Board-Certified dermatologists have been serving patients, making our patients’ health and welfare our top priority. We offer innovative treatment methods using state-of-the-art medical equipment in our conveniently located, patient-friendly facility in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. For more information, contact us through our website or call 847-392-5440.